Statehouses are back in session: Get in the mix

By Keith Goble
state legislative editor


With the calendar now proclaiming 2010, there are a lot of new things happening in states right now. About a half-dozen states are working in new rules that lawmakers endorsed during the past year.

The most notable change is probably in Illinois where, with the help of OOIDA and truckers in the state, trucks now are allowed to travel at the same speed as other vehicles on most stretches of interstates.

This is a great time to open the lines of communication with your elected officials. In the months ahead, much more discussion is expected to take place about changes affecting transportation and the trucking industry in statehouses around the country.

States are not easing back into the swing of things either. Lawmakers from California to Maine were back at work the first week of the year. In all, more than two-thirds of the nation’s state legislatures will have convened their 2010 sessions by the time you read this.

This is a big election year. It is likely to create some increased urgency among elected officials to reach out to their constituents as they work to secure votes for the fall.

This year’s legislative labors are certain to be critical to the way you conduct your trucking business, which is an opportunity to use to your advantage.

Issues likely to receive attention in state legislatures across the country include highway tolls, privatization, transportation funding, fees and fuel taxes.

Ideally we could rely on lawmakers to look out for our best interests, but for the most part they have no idea what those issues are. It’s your responsibility to clue them in. LL